Thursday, June 6, 2013

Chicken and Pastries

Those of you who know me know that I had a cooking show at Regent University a year ago. Funny story, actually....Somehow it got out on campus that I love to cook. It also got out that I had cooking classes in my apartment that the awesome ladies on my hall would come to every month. One day, some students from Regent's news show called "The Daily Runner"  found me and wanted to film a cooking segment with me--from my own kitchen--once per week! It lasted a whole semester. So fun... So here is an episode from the show. My segment starts at 1:40. I'm cooking Chicken and Pastries--a family fave! The written recipe follows.

Chicken and Pastries Recipe: (serves 4)

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of chopped broccoli
1 cup of chopped mushrooms (optional)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of broccoli soup
1-2 cups of milk
1 package puff pastry sheets, thawed for 20-30 minutes until softened and still firm but not sticky or squishy.

Preheat oven to 400F. Set a large pan over medium heat.

Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides. Cut the 2 pastry sheets (in their rolled-up form) each into four squares, separate them and place them on a cookie sheet (greasing is not necessary).

When the pan is hot, add a tablespoon of butter, let it sizzle and spread around the pan and then add the chicken in, being sure not to crowd it (you can do it in 2 batches). Let the chicken breasts cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. DO NOT TOUCH THEM OR FLIP THEM, let them cook. After that time, flip them. They should be nice and brown on the bottom. Take them out of the pan and set them aside on a plate to rest.

Toss in the mushrooms first and spread them around…in the words of Julia Child, “Don’t crowd the mushrooms!” After they get nice a brown and start to cook, add the broccoli. Turn down the heat to medium-low and add half a teaspoon of salt. Let them cook away until the broccoli is still firm to the bite but not crunchy…this may take about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, the oven should be preheated, so place the pastries in the oven for 20-25 minutes until puffy and golden brown. When the broccoli is almost done, add the two cans of soup and one can of milk to the pan and stir it well. Add more milk to make it as creamy as you please…it’s also nice to add cream…for those of us who are not afraid of FAT! 

Continue to let this simmer away over low heat. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and it to the sauce, as well as any juices that have accumulated.
When the pastries are done, remove them from the oven. Put one or two per person on a plate and pour the sauce over. Serve.

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